What do you call a man who writes the following:
“There’s blood in the water, and the anti-Trump opposition should be in a hunting mood. Michael Flynn, the US national security adviser, is the first major scalp of Donald Trump’s administration, and so soon. This regime is weak. A president who lost the popular vote by nearly three million votes, who has increasingly catastrophic personal ratings, is now embroiled in a major scandal. An opposition that has mobilised the biggest protests in US history should exploit this opportunity ruthlessly by piling pressure on the Trump regime, and on a Democratic establishment that might otherwise seek compromise with it.”
Given the repeated description of the legitimate Government of the United States as a regime, and the implicit calls for its overthrow, you might be forgiven for calling such a person downright reckless. You might also describe him as a populist rabble rouser (populism: a political style of action that mobilises a large alienated element of a population against a government which is seen as controlled by an out-of-touch closed elite that acts on behalf of its own interests). Or you could just call him Owen Jones, the self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist, anti-populist, anti-fascist, for it was indeed he who wrote those incendiary words in a piece for The Guardian.
Mr Jones is clearly very unhappy that the American people elected Donald J Trump as their President. So unhappy in fact that he that he scarcely recognises that Mr Trump was constitutionally elected, citing something called the “popular vote” as implying his illegitimacy. But this is of course not how the USA elects its leaders. The Founding Fathers had their reasons for setting up their system of Republican governance the way they did, but creating a system for people like Owen Jones to approve more than a couple of centuries later apparently wasn’t high on their list.
As it happens, I share many of Mr Jones’s misgivings about Mr Trump. I hold it to be self-evident that he is unfit for office and ought not, under normal circumstances, to have got within 100 miles of the White House. But then given that his opponent was the “worst president America never had”, these were not normal circumstances and the result was entirely unsurprising. I also hold it to be equally self-evident that an election that could pit two such miscreants as the sociopathic Mrs Clinton and the unhinged Mr Trump against each other is God’s message to America that there’s some serious repentance needed or else this whole shebang is going down the plughole soonish.
Yet even though I am far from being squiffy with excitement at the thought of the Trump administration, my reaction, as a small c conservative and therefore apparently “right-wing”, is in stark contrast to the self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist Mr Jones. Neither of us likes Mr Trump. Yet while one of us accepts his election as legitimate, because constitutionally it was so, the other refuses to do so. Neither of us likes the fact that the most powerful nation on the planet is now led by Mr Trump. Yet one of us recognises him as the lawful leader of America, because under the rules governing US elections this is what he is, while the other thinks he should be toppled because he’s a “fascist”. And the reason for these differences? Simply that while one of us believes in something called the rule of law, the other has shown that he has no regard for that concept whatsoever.
The irony of Mr Jones’s statement should not pass us by. Indeed it is hard to miss it, since it is a mountain reaching monumental heights. Presenting himself as a man at war against “fascism” and “populism” and all that is generally vile out there, while defending democracy and peace and all things good, what do we find him doing? Calling for the opposition to seize the moment and overthrow the legitimate President — a revolutionary act which could only lead to massive civil unrest and very possibly civil war.
But the irony doesn’t cease there. He sees the resignation of General Flynn as the catalyst for the protest movement to seize the moment and topple Mr Trump, as if the resignation of General Flynn represents some sort of triumph of democratic opposition. Yet this is so far from the truth as to be almost funny. General Flynn was Mr Trump’s most high profile appointee to carry out his pledge to “drain the Washington swamp”. You don’t have to agree with everything General Flynn said or stood for to see this, and I certainly didn’t. But it is undeniable that the reason he was given the position was that Mr Trump believed him to be the best man to take on and defeat the Deep State within the intelligence community. The absurd campaign against him in recent weeks, and his eventual resignation (for something that could have been dealt with privately between him and the Vice President), represents the victory of the swamp over the President.
And it won’t stop there. Having claimed their first scalp, the Deep State, neo-Trotskyist (calling themselves neoconservative) establishment now senses that there is — to borrow Mr Jones’s phrase — “blood in the water” and they are in “hunting mood”. Far from being a “people power” moment, the resignation of General Flynn is part of the Deep State oligarchy’s coup against the legitimate President, and having effectively been neutered, Mr Trump must now decide whether to take the fight to them or capitulate. He gives every indication of having taken the latter option.
The US is now simply Greater Ukraine, with Donald Trump cast in the Viktor Yanukovych role. The end is probably just a matter of time, but when it comes it won’t be a “people revolution” that brings it about, although the press will present it as such, and Owen Jones will probably believe it to be so. People revolutions are rarely, if ever, “people” revolutions. They are always establishment coups dressed up as people revolutions, and they always turn violent — even if the people are all wearing pink when it happens.
Does Mr Jones realise what he is doing in making his call for the opposition to scent blood and go hunting? Let me help him out. Let him imagine that Mrs Clinton had won the election. And let him imagine that after organised protests, an intensely hostile media campaign, and the resignation of one of her top officials within the first month, a prominent journalist from “the Right” had written the following:
“There’s blood in the water, and the anti-Clinton opposition should be in a hunting mood… This regime is weak… An opposition that has mobilised the biggest protests in US history should exploit this opportunity ruthlessly by piling pressure on the Clinton regime, and on a Republican establishment that might otherwise seek compromise with it.”
What do you suppose Owen Jones would have said about that? You hardly need to guess. He would quite rightly have deplored the words as those of a dangerous fanatic seeking to topple the legitimately elected leader, a thing which would be bound to cause untold damage to people and property. As a small c conservative, I would heartily agree.
He would also no doubt have used words like “populist”, “fascist” and “anti-democrat”. Well hello Mr Pot. Let me introduce you to Mr Kettle.
Mr Jones’s words are the kind of thoughtless, revolutionary sentiments that can easily end up costing lives and lead to massive civil unrest. As so often over the past few months, I can’t help but find myself agreeing with that most astute of social commentators, the self-proclaimed Marxist, Brendan O’Neill:
“Right now, I’m more scared of this cultural elite that has abandoned reason and embraced fear, which threatens to crush those who disagree, than I am of Trump.”